Fordham & Dominion, Mispillion River Brewing Company, EasySpeak Spirits
As I may have mentioned once or twice in my previous posts (ahem!), we were not blessed with the most summery weather during our sojourn to Rehoboth Beach. On the plus side, this meant lots of extra time for beery and cultural excursions which is of course never a bad thing. On our penultimate day in Delaware, we travelled up to the Dover, the state capital, to take in some local history. If you’ll forgive me for veering slightly away from beer for a moment or two, this is an excellent day trip that I would highly recommend.
We started by visiting the John Dickinson Plantation, home of one of the less well-known Founding Fathers who was also the first President of Delaware and first signator of the US Constitution. We were given a brilliant free guided tour by a really passionate and knowledgeable guide who filled us with cool facts on everything from the types of drinks and snacks served by Eighteenth Century ladies at different times of year to when and why the Quakers forbade their members from owning slaves.
We had another excellent guide around the Old State Capitol building, which has been lovingly restored to recreate the first state legislature, complete with descriptions of each House and Senate delegate at their seats. Absolutely fascinating stuff. Dover itself has just the one brewery – Fordham & Dominion, which originated in Annapolis MD where they still have a taproom. Although the Dover HQ was closed during our visit, I enjoyed trying their beers in Annapolis (read more here) and would recommend stopping by. https://www.fordhamanddominion.com/
All of this sightseeing left us understandably thirsty, so we made a bee-line for Milford’s Mispillion River Brewing (another great recommendation from Chris Hansen @esdude67 – thank you!), on the rather brilliantly named Mullet Run Road – this kept us amused for way longer than it should have! Mispillion is a super-cool local taproom far enough out of town to feel like you’re in the countryside with a spacious yard and friendly folk on both sides of the bar. There’s nothing provincial about the beers at Mispillion though – they have an enviable range of impressive IPAs and DIPAs as well as stand-out beers across a good range of styles. The Pineapple Express IPA was my favourite – really fresh and juicy with the pineapple complementing the hops rather than pushing them out. Very nicely done.
The moreishly dry-hopped Party Monster DIPA and punchy five-hop extravaganza Not Today Satan IPA were also great, and I surprised myself by really enjoying the Little Dictator – a jalapeno Hefeweizen that adds the flavour and aroma of the chilli without the spice. As a spice-gal, I thought I would find it disappointing but it was beautifully delivered (thanks again Chris, I would not have tried it without your recommendation!). The Praetor Imperial Porter and Raspberry Jacuzzi Sour were both lovely too, showing Mispillion flexing their muscles in different directions, and the most cursory glance at their production list has ensured a return trip next time we are in the area. If you can’t make it to the brewery, Mispillion cans are available throughout the area (Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth has a particularly good selection) so make sure you don’t miss out. https://www.mispillionriverbrewing.com/
If you’re in the area, while this is, of course, a beer blog, I would be remiss not to give a most honourable mention to EasySpeak Spirits, also in Milford, who have a gorgeously chic taproom complete with astroturf and a propeller fan! We had a delicious lunch of seafood pizzas (surf n turf and crab and artichoke – heavenly!) and dreamy cocktails made with their own spirits (JB tried to wrestle this coffee-chocolate delight from me!) and they also have an excellent beer list featuring a strong range of local breweries including Blue Point, Mispillion River and Rar. Service was excellent and spirit flights are available although unfortunately it was a bit early for me to have one when we visited! Again, you can buy their stuff at Outlet Liquors. Of course you can – all the Delaware drinkin’! https://www.easyspeakspirits.com/